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It is customer demand bringing Dvash Mediterranean Fusion to West Boca Raton.
That’s what Lauren and Ilan Cohen have been hearing from regulars who make the short trip south to their Coral Springs restaurant, Falafel Bistro & Wine Bar, for the menu of falafels, shawarma, majadara (risotto), baba ganoush, hummus, burgers and various vegetarian dishes.
“Many of our customers are from Boca and north and have asked us many times to consider a second location,” says Ilan Cohen. “Lakeside Centre approached us and thought we would be a great addition.”
For the last 14 years they’ve been running Falafel Bistro, which was so popular that after three years they moved, in 2010, to a larger space in The Shoppes at Heron Lakes.
But now the Cohen clan will divide their time between Coral Springs and Boca Raton when Dvash opens in September in Lakeside Centre, a shopping plaza nestled beside the Florida Turnpike on Glades Road. The plan has been in the works since 2019, hampered by the pandemic and the ensuing employment issues (the kitchen staff has worked with the Cohens for six or seven years).
Cohen went on to explain that they are, “… using a strategy of opening Falafel Bistro Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and [then] moving staff to Dvash [on] Friday, Saturday, Sunday. Our daughter, Anabel, moved down from New York with her husband, Justin [Hochberg], a year and a half ago to open Dvash.”
The restaurant will seat about 35 inside and 28 outside for lunch, brunch and dinner service.
“They are actually extending the awning for us,” Lauren says, gesturing to the sidewalk seating. “So this is all going to be undercover, which is great.”
Dvash is Hebrew for honey, which figures not only into the design of the restaurant with its hexagon wine rack behind the bar and tile design, but also in the cuisine.
“I think like 75 percent of our dishes have honey incorporated in them,” Anabel says. “Instead of sugar, we’re using honey … as a natural sweetener, or dates for vegans.”
The Cohens say that while the menu will have some of the same dishes as Falafel Bistro, the Dvash kitchen will offer a “twist” and also reflect the family’s love of sharing plates, tapas style.
“It’s from my background,” adds Ilan. “I’m from Israel … most of the experience I had … [with] food was the grandmothers. So that’s where I got all the flavors from. And also, because Israel is like a melting pot. So there are so many Jews that came from different places in the world. They brought their traditional flavors, cultures and, you know, spices … to Israel.”
A move to New York City also had an influence: ”That developed my palate and love for food and trying different kinds of food. So basically, [the concept is] what I’ve had and grew up with and then I twisted it and did different things in the kitchen. That’s the fusion.”
The desserts will be under the auspices of Lauren.
“I like to bake,” she says. “I like to come up with different things. We’re going to do a new thing here, it’s a halva ice cream with pistachios and honey. We’re probably going to incorporate an olive oil cake. We have a couple of desserts from the other place that we’re bringing over, which is the white chocolate bread pudding with a brandy vanilla sauce, and a carrot cake.”
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The carrot cake is a signature dish, says Ilan, before adding, “Lauren’s carrot cake is sick. And it’s my favorite.”
Prices will range from $10 to $32 for the appetizers, shareables, salads, entrees and desserts.
There will be a wine list, draft beer and specialty cocktails (a recent addition at Falafel Bistro).
The family plans to open Dvash Sept. 9. “It’s actually perfect because it’s a few days after Rosh Hashanah which is honey, New Year, new beginnings,” Lauren says.
The address is 8208 Glades Road, Boca Raton.